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SBD/February 21, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Owners, Players Association Hold Lengthy Talks With Mediator Over Weekend
Published February 21, 2011
GLOOMY OUTLOOK: Lions DE and player rep Kyle Vanden Bosch said "all signs are probably pointing toward a lockout." Vanden Bosch: "You hope that at this point there's a serious sense of urgency and that some progress is being made. But it doesn't seem that through negotiations or through meetings that any progress has been made" (FREEP.com, 2/20). ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack said, "I don't see much coming out of this. ... I think they're prepared for a lockout. It really doesn't hurt them to lock those players out until maybe October or November or something like that. I just believe that we're in for a long one here" ("NFL Live," ESPN, 2/18). In New Orleans, James Varney wrote under the header, "Need For Mediator Reveals How Far NFL, Players Have To Go" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 2/20). But in Philadelphia, Phil Sheridan wrote, "Maybe, with a grown-up in the room in Washington, a fair deal can be struck without a labor stoppage. Let's hope so, because the alternative just isn't as funny as the jokers who started this." Sheridan added it is "often said that this labor battle pits billionaires against millionaires, and that is partly true." But most NFL players "are not, and never will be, millionaires" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/20).
ASSISTANT COACHES TO UNIONIZE? In Boston, Greg Bedard noted since the NFL "allowed teams to opt out of the previously mandated pension plans two years ago, the NFL Coaches' Association has talked about becoming a union." The NFLCA "took a step in that direction five months ago when its executive committee formally voted to explore the union route." NFLCA Exec Dir Larry Kennan said of the CBA negotiations, "It just feels like they're taking a lot of stuff away and they're not giving us any love in return. What I've suggested is, after the CBA gets settled, whenever that is, a couple months later they need to sit down and do something with the coaches because we're valuable, too. They need to treat us that way. I know this: There are a bunch of coaches out there that are angry" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/20). Meanwhile, in DC, Mike Jones noted assistant coaches "across the league could face significant financial losses if the standoff between owners and players drags on for an extended period of time." The rules "differ from team to team, and in some cases from coach to coach," but officials said that most assistants "could suffer a decrease in pay or even lose their jobs in the event of a lengthy lockout." Kennan: "Of 32 teams, 20, 21 really treat their coaches fair and with respect. There are about 10 or 12 that do not" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/18).